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Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. The Department, part of the Earth Sciences Program that includes the collocated Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and climate earth sciences.

The department's research strengths are reinforced by strong collaborations leading to joint research topics with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland Departments of the Environment and of Natural Resources, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction of the National Weather Service, the NOAA Satellite and Air Research Laboratories, all of which are located near the campus.

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, Professor and Chairman

Faculty Spotlight
Ross Salawitch and team publish “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope” illustrating optimistic climate future
Drawing momentum from the historic Paris Climate Treaty Agreement that took place in December 2015, Dr. Ross Salawitch and AOSC colleagues Dr. Tim Canty, Brian Bennett, Walt Tribett and Austin Hope recently published, “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope,” a book which analyzes the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions necessary to limit global warming to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius. “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope,” illustrates this rise in global mean surface temperature is attainable as long as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) of emissions are adhered to and propagated forward to the year 2060. The authors show that the Paris goals are possible through their development of a global climate model (EM-GC), which concluded GHGs must only follow the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)-4.5 for the target warming to occur. This pathway is more optimistic and realistically attainable than what previous global climate models (GCMS) had prescribed countries must follow. The book concluded that current GCMS likely represented climate feedback in a manner that amplified the radiative forcing due to GHGs too strongly. Still, to achieve RCP 4.5 half of the world’s global energy must come from renewable sources by the year 2060. “This will require a large-scale transfer of technology and capital from the developed to the developing world,” said Salawitch.

Video Announcement
Paris Beacon of Hope
News
Posted on April 24, 2018
Director General of Resources for Science, Technology and Higher Education, the Ministry for Research, Technology and Higher Education, Indonesia

4/23/2018 Meeting of AOSC and the Director General of Resources for Science, Technology and Higher Education, the Ministry for Research, Technology and Higher Education, Indonesia to explore a new graduate educational exchange program. This was arranged by AOSC faculty member Dwi Susanto.

Posted on April 2, 2018
Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm Named Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at UMD

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm was named chair of the University of Maryland’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (AOSC) for a five-year term effective July 1, 2018.

He is currently a professor in the department and interim director of UMD’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC). He will continue leading ESSIC through 2021. Miralles-Wilhelm also serves as executive director of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), which is administered by ESSIC.

Full Press Release

Posted on March 30, 2018
20th-Century Climate Change over Africa: Seasonal Hydroclimate Trends and Sahara Desert Expansion

Congratulations to AOSC and ESSIC's Sumant Nigam and AOSC graduate student (and lead author) Natalie Thomas, co-authors of a new paper, “20th-Century Climate Change over Africa: Seasonal Hydroclimate Trends and Sahara Desert Expansion,” published online today in the Journal of Climate. The results of the study suggest that the Sahara Desert expanded by about 10 percent during the period spanning 1920-2013. The research is the first to assess century-scale changes to the boundaries of the world’s largest desert and suggests that other deserts could be expanding as well.

Full Press Release


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